Editor’s Note: As we approach the November General Election, The Daily Sentinel will be running articles allowing the candidates in contested races to introduce themselves and tell the voters why they are running for office. Each candidate is asked, in their own words, to respond to two questions — tell us about yourself and why are you running for this office.
POMEROY — Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) is one of two candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives 6th District in Ohio.
Tell us about yourself:
My life and career have always centered around a commitment to hard work and making a difference in the community.
Born and raised on family farms, I learned early the values of hard work, honesty, and sacrifice. Those values have stayed with me throughout my life.
I entered the U.S. Air Force in 1973, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after a distinguished military career of more than 26 years. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Troy University in Troy, Alabama in 1979, and earned my Master’s Degree from Georgia Tech in 1984. As Director of the Air Force’s Chief Information Officer Staff at U.S. Special Operations Command, I worked directly with senior congressional and Secretary of Defense representatives, as well as top leaders within the various U.S. intelligence communities, to ensure America’s Special Operations forces were adequately equipped to carry out critical national security missions.
Following my retirement from military service, I helped create two information technology consulting companies, and served as Chief Information Officer for a global manufacturing company headquartered in Eastern Ohio. I’ve been active in my church and community. I was first elected to Congress in November 2010.
I reside in Marietta with my wife LeeAnn and son Nathan. I’m also the proud parent of three other successful grown children: Joshua, Julie, and Jessica, and I have six grandchildren.
Why are you running for this office:
I’m running for office to help protect and expand on the positive changes that this Congress and President Trump have made to improve the lives of those in Southeastern Ohio and across America.
I believe I’ve been an effective advocate for the people I represent in the U.S. House. For example, legislation I authored, H.J. Res 38, was one of the very first bills that President Trump signed into law. My bill helped end the previous Administration’s ‘War on Coal’ by eliminating an Obama-era rule that jeopardized thousands of jobs and would have put a majority of America’s coal reserves off limits.
As a former small business owner, I know how the pressures of big government in Washington make it difficult for job creators to create jobs. High taxes and Washington red tape were holding back businesses of all sizes. We’re fixing that by passing the Tax Reform and Jobs Act and common sense regulatory reform.
Growing up dirt poor, I also know how difficult it is for families to make ends meet. It was a primary reason I was a leading voice in helping to push the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act across the finish line.
The new tax reform law doubles the standard deduction, raising it to $24,000 for married couples and $13,000 for individual filers, making more of your hard-earned money tax free. It’s also boosted our economy and led to historically low unemployment levels. Everywhere I travel, folks are hiring. It’s one of the best labor markets in the history of the United States.
I’m leading the effort in the House Energy & Commerce Committee on two issues that I’m particularly passionate about and that directly impact Eastern and Southeastern Ohio: fighting the opioid epidemic and closing the rural-urban digital divide by increasing access to broadband.